Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The New York Times on stoned driving

Posted By on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 4:20 PM

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On Monday, the New York Times printed a well-rounded look at the intricacies involved in driving while stoned or drunk, how to catch those that do, and whether or not it's even worth targeting pot partakers.

Here's a few quick hits:

• Standard field-sobriety tests catch about 88  percent of drunk drivers, but the tests are much less efficient at revealing a stoned driver, especially a seasoned one.

• One researcher's aggregation of multiple studies yielded the theory that stoned driving increases the risk of a car accident two-fold, while a drunk 20-year-old's risk of an accident increases 20-fold. 

• Stoned drivers did much better than drunk drivers in tests of memory and math, but ran into trouble of their own when it came time to process a multi-faceted situation with sudden changes.

• One doctor think the 5 nanogram per milliliter limit that Colorado has imposed on its drivers is too high, and supports a 1 nanogram limit. Of course, the risk is that "if you smoke often enough, your blood-THC content might still be five nanograms per milliliter a day after you last lit up."

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